Revelative evidential markers in English-language dream reports: A corpus-based study

Keywords: revelative evidentiality, revelative evidential markers, dream reports, dream journals, narrative, metaphor


This corpus-based study investigates revelative evidential marking in English dream reports, specifically focusing on the word dream. Analyzing a corpus of 60,155 dream reports, the research identifies the expressions in * dream (in the dream, in my dream etc) and of the dream as most frequent revelative evidentials. The frequency of the central revelative marker in the dream reveals a conventional conceptualization of DREAM IS A CONTAINER, aligning with the broader linguistic metaphor of STATES ARE CONTAINERS. Concordance analysis of the second-frequent phrase of the dream illustrates that narrators tend to use the marker for navigation and coherent narrativization of the dream experiences, conceptualizing the experience as DREAM IS A STORY or DREAM IS A SPACE. Identified with the help of cluster analysis, the trends in dream experience narrativization also emphasize navigation and coherence. The study argues for pragmatic and cognitive implications of evidential marking, which is accounted for by juxtaposing dream content with real-world knowledge via the use of evidential markers in dream reports. It has been found that evidential marking serves to maintain a coherent construal and retain the epistemic control over the conceptualization of the narrated experience. The findings contribute to the expounding revelative evidential labelling, specifically, as well as of the broader semantic evidential system of the English language, advancing the scholarship on linguistic expressions of subjective states and narrativization of subjective experience.


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How to Cite
Nikolaienko, V. (2023). Revelative evidential markers in English-language dream reports: A corpus-based study. Cognition, Communication, Discourse, (27), 56-66.